ESSAY

Week 3

Biscuits and Star Stuff

By Theresa I. Soto, minister, Unitarian Universalist Society of Flint, Michigan

 “Mama,” said Quinn.

“What’s up?” Mama asked. She could see the sun shining on the top of Quinn’s curly hair. She measured another spoonful of mayonnaise into the bowl. Mama was making drop biscuits.

“We traced out shadows on paper during art class.”

“Mh-hmm,” Mama said. “Did you like that?”

“Not that much,” Quinn said. “My shadow wasn’t as long as most of the others.”

“What did your teacher say about that part?”

Quinn let out a long breath. They blew air toward their forehead and made the curls at the front of their head bounce.

“Miss Malone says that every single body is different.”

Mama nodded.

“She says that every body is a good body,” Quinn mumbled.

“Do you want to pour the milk in?” Mama asked. “Biscuits for dinner.”

“I love biscuits! Yum!” Quinn said. “I washed my hands with soap. Do the milk?”

“Go ahead.” Mama said.

Quinn very carefully poured the milk into the bowl.

“Thanks, sweets,” Mama said. She took a fork from the drawer and mixed everything together gently.

Quinn watched Mama scoop the dough onto the cookie sheet and slide them into the hot oven. They watched the biscuits for a while.

“Mama, they’re puffing up,” they said.

“Yup. Baking powder and milk together do that to the dough,” Mama said.

“I’m going to grow, right, Mama?” Quinn asked.

“You sure are. You grow a little bit every day.”

“And my body’s good,” Quinn said.

“Actually, Q, your body and my body, our bodies and other people’s bodies are fantastic.”

“How do you know?” Quinn asked.

“Do you remember when you learned about atoms in school?”

Quinn nodded. “The very small parts of everything.”

“Our bodies are made of things like carbon and oxygen atoms,” Mama said. “And it turns out that those atoms came from the stars to make up the building blocks of Earth. You are made from pieces of the stars, Quinn.”

“Stars?” Quinn asked. They were starting to smile.

Mama was smiling too. “Stars, Quinn. When you feel not too sure that your body is good or when you are waiting and waiting for your body to grow, you remember that your body is good and that it comes from good things.”

“Okay, Mama,” Quinn said.

Mama took the biscuits out of the oven. She blew on a piece of a biscuit to cool it off, buttered it, and gave it to Quinn.

Suddenly, Quinn’s eyes grew wide. They looked at the biscuits. None were the same. The one on the right middle was a bit smaller than the others.

“Mama,” Quinn said, “they’re all different.” Mama nodded.

“And we’ll probably eat them all, right?”

“Probably all of them,” Mama said, “with chili and salad.”

“And they’re made of good stuff.” Quinn said.

“Fantastic,” Mama said.

Quinn smiled and went to wash up for dinner. Biscuits!